Portland Approves $1 Million Illegal Alien Legal Defense Fund Budget

As previously reported back in April, the Portland city council had been mulling a $750,000 taxpayer funded legal defense team for illegal aliens.

That budget has been approved, with a little help from Multnomah County.

Together, the city and county have allocated a total of $1 million to this legal defense fund.

This has been a pet project for city councilindividualofnonspecifiedgender Chloe Eudaly.

FOX 12 reports:

This week Portland City Council approved a $500,000 dollar grant to Catholic Charities of Oregon and Multnomah County is matching that amount.

It’s funding that will go toward paying for attorneys and legal services for potential deportees.

Margaux Weeke, a communications specialist in the Office of Commissioner Chloe Eudaly told FOX 12 Friday the funding which is being called the “Universal Representation Project” will be for immigrants who may not be able to afford an attorney during legal proceedings.

“Innovation Law Lab in collaboration with a group of legal service providers and community organizations has been brainstorming and dreaming about universal rep for over a year and meeting to sort of plan and making the funding ask and we’re going to be serving as sort of the strategy point and the hub for coordination of the program,” she said.

“We’re going to be the tactical center for the direct service attorneys so we’re going to be representing people in removal proceedings in the Portland immigration court and providing case support and strategy with a goal of winning every case.”

The city said this a pilot program and after a year the council will evaluate its success.

The $500,000 dollars from the city is general fund dollars and every tax payer FOX 12 polled Friday night said they’re in favor of the program.

Apparently this funding comes from police, fire, and parks budget. The Oregonian adds:

The council approved a $500,000 grant to Catholic Charities of Oregon, which will use the money to hire attorneys and paralegals to represent potential deportees. A minimum of 60 people are to receive attorney help under the grant, according to the agreement. At least 50 of those “will receive a screening for service eligibility,” though no eligibility conditions are listed.

Immigrants living in the country illegally and refugees have the same constitutional protections as citizens. But people facing deportation are not entitled to a court-appointed lawyer if they cannot afford one.

The legal assistance program is the brainchild of Portland’s newest city commissioner, Chloe Eudaly. She said Wednesday that hundreds of Portlanders are facing deportation, and most will be forced to leave the country unless they can be provided attorneys. She did not cite a source for the figure.

The need for access to attorneys is especially great given “continued and increasingly aggressive attacks” on immigrants from federal officials, Eudaly said.

“Providing access to legal services is about protecting everyone’s constitutional right to due process,” Eudaly said. “This is one of the most fundamental components of our democracy and every American regardless of immigration status should be proud to defend this value.”

The $500,000 grant to Catholic Charities is a one-time grant under the city special appropriations budget. Money for the grant is drawn from the city general fund, which primarily pays for police, fire and parks operations. The vote to approve the funding ordinance was 4-0 with Commissioner Dan Saltzman absent.

That’s right, Mayor Ted Wheeler and city councilspeciesofnonspecifiedgender Eudaly are literally diverting funding from the fire department to pay for illegal aliens.


 

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